Ask your doctor if getting off your butt is right for you.
- You were designed to move – and yet you sit
- You are going to start playing again
- Exercise is not optional
- Exercise is not a luxury
- Sitting is killing you, literally
The modern world has ‘engineered’ movement out of our lives This has left us movement-deficient.
Our cells expect and require relatively high levels of regular energy expenditure, including occasional bouts of real exertion. For thousands of generations, we would walk an average of 8-10 miles per day – every day!
There are many excuses for not working out regularly: no time, no energy, no money, or all of the above. The good news: exercise is free. And, research shows that short interval, higher intensity exercise gives you better results than long, drawn-out journeys on the treadmill or punishing runs on the pavement.
This lack of activity must be supplemented if we expect to be healthy. We should expect optimal cell function and health. It is the natural consequence of living in alignment with your design. Unfortunately, it is not the norm.
We are (literally) being crushed under the weight of the health issues created by a sedentary culture. The result of this is we are now faced with an over-weight, under-muscled population – the twin engines of chronic illness.
Functional Training is the most effective, efficient and flexible form of training ever known to man. In fact, it has been the only type of exercise or activity any human had ever done prior to just 4 or 5 generations ago. Believe it or not, cavemen did not do calf-raises.
To paraphrase CrossFit: Functional Training is defined as universal motor recruitment patterns – compound, multi-joint movements that are effective and efficient locomotors of body and external objects. In other words, we move ourselves and objects in natural ways over distance as quickly as possible.
The emphasis is on training movements, not muscles. Moving humans, not machines.
Functional Training is also fully scalable. It is not uncommon to see a young, fit teenager training alongside his or her grandmother, or someone who’s has some physical impairment or injury. Functional training workouts are typically shorter than traditional gym workouts – and the intensity is progressive and modifiable to you, your level of fitness, injury.
A best practice is to join a fcoached training class or environment like Pilates or Yoga Studio, Zumba, Crossfit, OrangeTheory, etc. The coaching, community and expertise is unmatched (you’ll expand your exercise ‘horizons’, not to mention do twice as much in the same amount of time and make new friends). Do not think that only exceptional people workout at places such as CrossFit – people of all ages, fitness, limitations (including disabled/adaptive ‘athletes’).
- Follow a program that promotes natural, functional movements.
- Avoid relying on “specialized training” that develops one or two facets of fitness, but ignores the other critical elements that make up true fitness.
- Join a team, get back to a sport that you loved, or learn a new one.
- Play with your kids and grandkids – they functional train naturally (okay, except for screen time).
The big idea is to improvement is simply do more than you did yesterday (unless you’re already super fit – then stay that way). The ultimate fitness metric is increased work capacity. All of the benefits of exercise are simply derivatives of this one factor. Cardio-protective benefits, improved insulin sensitivity, body composition, blood lipids/cholesterol, abdominal measurements, better sleep, improved mental function, decreased risk of dementia – all of the good stuff is found with regular exercise.
The research is clear and compelling: the potentially enormous return of investing in exercise for the prevention of disease on the primary level cannot be overstated.
It’s time to face the facts: exercise is not optional. Your choices are: significantly increase your chances of having a long, healthy life, or ensure yourself a long and painful battle against chronic disease.
Ask your doctor if getting off of your butt is right for you.
Do what moves you – every day!